Re: A natural tendency to use past indefinite tense
We use the past simple in BrE when we are distancing something in time.We use the present perfect when the action begun (at least) in the past has some relevance to the present time.
There situations which speakers may view in different ways.
I have written to George ( so now I can relax).
I wrote to George (just after you asked me to).
There are times when only one form is natural:
I arrived in Prague 13 years ago. (1998)
I have lived in Prague for 12 years. (1998 to the present)
I lived in Stuttgart from 1972 to 1974.
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